We happened fortuitously on a book in which a passage is dedicated to French couturier Hubert de Givenchy. Perfume-wise de Givenchy is known for having custom-ordered Le De, at first the signature perfume of Audrey Hepburn his muse, later on brought to a wider audience. His name is also associated with the material vetiver and the fragrance Vetyver launched under his house label, which comes with the aura of connoisseur approval ...
Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy
Hubert de Givenchy no doubt has worn a number of different fragrances in his lifetime but one which accompanied him for a long time as he reveals is Ho Hang by Balenciaga for the simple reason that it was the signature fragrance of his master in fashion, Cristobal Balenciaga. Of the latter he explained, "He was complete, religious, loyal, generous. He will remain the greatest."
In Le Plus Bel Âge: Rencontres avec des octogénaires affranchis (2013), a study about non-conformist views of old age by exceptional personalities, he tells author Laurence Benaïm that "It was a necessity. I felt through it a sort of presence." We thus learn that amongt the perfumes released by Balenciaga this was his own. Its dual feminine-masculine character which can be readily felt just by smelling the perfume must have pleased him whose homosexuality was well-known.
In the tome, we also find a mention about de Givenchy's passion for the scent of silk which he could have talked about for hours, reportedly.
The author signs off momentarily the passage with a quote from Herman Hesse which summarizes the spirit of the book, "Old age becomes mediocre only when it tries to borrow an air of youth."